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Omusati opens cultural fest

by Romanus Konjore News Editor
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The cultures of tribes or regions are not self-contained, closed systems in actuality but are constantly exposed to cultural influences, flowing in both directions with other cultures, it has been reasoned.
In line with these, the Omusati Regional Council launched a multi-faceted cultural festival called the Olufuko Festival at Outapi last week.
The festival that is billed to become an annual event comprises of four sections; traditional culture, agriculture, arts and commerce.
Speaking at the official launch and gala dinner of the Olufuko festival, the Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma urged every Namibian citizen to fully participate in cultural issues and events.
“I urge our youth not to shy away from our cultural events under the pretext that they are outdated. As future leaders of our country, our youth should defend and preserve our culture as well as champion the heritage of our ancestors in order to forge a strong cultural and national identity,” Nujoma who is the patron of the festival said.
He further called on the youth to respect the elders and traditional leaders as faithful custodians of traditional norms and values.
The Former President noted that the country’s Constitution guarantees that everyone shall be entitled to enjoy, practice, profess, maintain and promote any culture, language or tradition.
Nujoma, however, advised that culture should be used to forge unity saying that, “Our cultural values accumulate wisdom and guarantee social harmony and cohesion.”
He said that the Olufuko used to be traditional practice by the Oshiwambo people to initiate young girls into womanhood but the custom has long been forgotten.
“I am, however, delighted that we are now reviving our cultural practices with a clear purpose of building a strong nation anchored on our unique traditional values and rich cultural diversity, hence, this Olufuko festival,” he beamed.
 Speaking at the same occasion, the mayor of Outapi, Matthew Ndeshitila asserted that a culture without respect for elders and authority is not a complete culture.
He extended a wide-ranging invitation to all and sundry to the festival slated for later this year, saying, “I want to take this opportunity to call upon all of you to come in big numbers and witness Namunganga in action, oufukwena, traditional arts and crafts, pottery and many more.”
He also made a plea to the youth to become part of this endeavor.